Final Thesis

Supervision and monitoring of a Membrane Bioreactor for the treatment of industrial wastewaters in a developing country (Brazil)

Key Info

Basic Information

Chemical Process Engineering
Masterthesis / Bachelorthesis
Focus/Key Topic:
From October


Supervision and monitoring of a Membrane Bioreactor for the treatment of industrial wastewaters in a developing country

Membrane bioreactors (MBR) combine the biological degradation of organic matter present in wastewaters with membrane filtration units. Compared to conventional biological treatments, this technology implies important advantages. The high separation efficiency of membrane units prevents the runoff of bacteria taking place in secondary clarifiers. Therefore, the treated water can be reused even without the need for tertiary treatments. This also allows operating with higher biomass concentrations, so that the treatment process takes place faster.

MBR technology is especially convenient for countries which suffer from water scarcity. They are particularly appropriate for treating and reusing industrial effluents; since the space requirements and treatment times are reduced, whereas the reliability of the treatment is significantly improved.

AVT is involved in a German-Brazilian cooperation project called BRAMAR, which intends to introduce advanced technologies for a better management of water resources in the region of North-East Brazil ( Among the envisaged actions, the implementation of MBR technology in the industrial sector is one of the key points of the present project. This can significantly contribute to improve the management of water resources in industrialized areas and reduce the water stress in drought-stricken regions.

The aim of the internship is to monitor a membrane bioreactor unit coupled with different post-treatment steps (RO and ozonation), which was installed by the company Envirochemie GmbH. The MBR treats the wastewater generated in a company that produces different kinds of tropical juices in the coastal city of Joao Pessoa (Paraiba). The degradation of pesticides present in the wastewaters will be also evaluated by using the different post-treatment options. The MBR unit is intended to reduce the water demand, the risk of eutrophication of nearby surface waters and would contribute to increase the local water reserves. This project will be co-supervised by AVT and the Federal University of Paraiba (UFPB).

What you should provide is:

  • You will operate the MBR and measure quality parameters of influent and effluent
  • Motivation to learn the main aspects involved in the treatment of wastewaters by means of MBR
  • Good communication skills to transfer the problems/solutions between Brazil and Germany
  • Analytical thinking to solve any challenge that could take place during the operation of an MBR unit
  • You should show good team player capabilities to cooperate in an international and multidisciplinary group

What you will achieve from this project is:

  • Practical experience in the treatment of wastewater
  • Knowledge on membrane processes
  • Experience in an international project
  • Build relationships with people from another culture
  • Financial support from AVT.CVT
  • An attentive supervision